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Heads of the Class

11 Professors Students Love

At Carthage, some of your most meaningful relationships will be with the people who push you hardest. Here are 11 professors students say challenged their thinking, opened their minds, and changed their lives.

Professor Laura Hauracha

1. Laura Huaracha, Comunication and Ditigal Media

“Professor Laura Huaracha has had an impact on my Carthage graphic design career from the very beginning of my time here. After she interviewed me and observed my portfolio, she awarded me the Communication and Digital Media Scholarship that confirmed my attendance at Carthage. She motivated me to dig deeper into my graphic design experience and creativity and gave me helpful critiques.” Brittany Lee ’21, graphic design major


Professor John Kirk

2. John Kirk, Chemistry

“Professor John Kirk has also had an impact on my life. I started my research with him through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), and he gave me lots of advice. I look up to him as a mentor and appreciate everything he does for his students” — Yann Astter ’21, chemistry major


Professor Jean Quashnock

3. Jean Quashnock (Dr. Q), Physics

“I have appreciated so many of the professors during my time at Carthage. The most recent would be Professor Jean Quashnock. I took his personal finance class for J-Term and I still use the information he gave me to this day! I’m able to save more money than I ever thought was possible.” — Shawnel Smith ’18, management and marketing major


Professor Joy Mast

4. Joy Mast, Geospatial Science

“Senior Seminar in Geospatial Science with Professor Joy Mast has been my toughest class so far. Working on a project for an extended period of time can become tiring, but I always had Prof. Mast’s support. With her feedback, I was able to create something I was truly proud of.” — Julia Karpinski ’20geoscience and geographic information science major


Professor Erlan Wheeler

5. Erlan Wheeler, Mathematics and Computer Science

“My toughest classes at Carthage have been with Professor Erlan Wheeler. I was definitely a rookie when it came to computers at the time and how to program. Prof. Wheeler taught a very demanding class, but I think that is what helped me focus on the course and do well in it.” —  Conner Plagge ’21, geographic information science and geoscience major 


Professor Fatih Harpci

6. Fatih Harpci, Religion

“Professor Fatih Harpci, my Islam professor, prepared trips that illuminated the culture and traditions of Islam. Furthermore, the real-life implications and personal experiences that he shared made the class feel more personal and engaging. His guidance to me so far has allowed me to have clearer ideas for my future.” — Alenxandre Lacro ’22, athletic training major


Professor teaching a voice lesson7. Corinne Ness, Music

“Professor Corine Ness was the first professor I met, she means more than a professor to me. She gives me so much help and support, and suggestions to help me find myself. Even though I’m so far away from my home country, she makes me feel warm! I love her and appreciate her more than words can express!” Ruiqing Zhu ’22, music theatre major


Professor Perry Kivolowitz

8. Perry Kivolowitz, Computer Science

“The toughest class I have taken at Carthage was computer science I and II. I took the two classes my freshman year with very little background in the subject so it was definitely a challenge. But Prof. Kivolowitz helped me with every step, and now I have a minor in data science.” Kathleen Cochran ’21, geographical information science and geoscience major


Professor Alyson Kiesel

9. Alyson Kiesel, English

“One professor that really impacted my life was Professor Alyson Kiesel. The thing that stuck out to me about her was that she cared about her students inside and outside of the classroom. My favorite example of this was when we met together for a paper conference. After we went through my paper, she put her pen down and asked how the first few weeks of college had been. This really made me feel like I was valued.” David Budzisz ’23, management and marketing major


Professor Wenjie Sun10. Wenjie Sun, geospatial science, computer science, and Asian studies

“Professor Wenjie Sun inspired me to work more in GIS, and eventually add a geoscience major. I feel like I have learned from the best, and she has really pushed me to my full potential in GIS work through classes and my thesis.” — Sage O’Brian ’20, geoscience and environmental science major


11. Rick Matthews, Sociology and Criminal Justice

“Professor Rick Matthews, my advisor and the department chair, has had a huge impact on my academic path. In an education system that rewards test scores and grades, Prof. Matthews rewards engagement and thoughtful learning. His teaching philosophy is refreshing and powerful and he is a huge reason why I changed my major to sociology. He also chooses not to own a cell phone and studies and trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, if that tells you how cool he is.” — Katherine Cullinan ’20sociology major

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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